17 Adar B 5779 / Sunday, March 24, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shemini
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When our kids don’t get the needed love from us they seek it elsewhere and tune us out. Kids need a focal point, if we don’t actively take on that role, we lose…


Recently I visited some relatives and their neighbor had a very eye opening doormat. It read “Home is where the Wifi connects automatically.” I stopped in my tracks.


With so many problems with raising kids and dozens of child guidance guides, first and foremost a home needs to be a home. At the same time it’s hard to avoid it, we need technology. But unfortunately it’s our kids who pay the price when we let things get out of hand and lose focus.


Parenting is all about making your child feel loved; but why is there so much disconnect between children and parents? Parents aren’t spending enough time with their kids. But as believers in the Torah we have specific commandments to do the best job we can to educate and raise them so we need to take responsibility.


When our kids don’t get the needed love from us they seek it elsewhere and tune us out. Kids need a focal point, if we don’t actively take on that role, we lose. There is nothing wrong with spoiling your kid with love. In fact I encourage it and hope you will start spoiling your kid today! But what does spoiling mean?


To me it means giving your child the feeling that he is irreplaceable and cherished. This is accomplished through our words, gestures, hugs and quality time we spend one on one. We accomplish this through genuine compliments and admiration for their achievements. The child is ours when they know they are loved whether or not they fail.


The wrong kind of spoiling is the type that leads to the doormat quote mentioned above. That means giving in to what the kid wants instead of what he or she really needs. Incorrect spoiling leads your kids to turn you, as the parent, off.  Correct spoiling makes your children addicted to your love, and this is what we want. The reason is because you as the parent, intuitively know what’s best for your child - not his friends.


A parent can’t think that the child will willfully follow the parent just because he is born to them. If there is no attachment through love, praise and optimism, the child will most likely find attention in the wrong place. It is a relationship that needs to be nurtured and protected from the earliest ages. If we don’t give our children what they need (love) and instead give them what they want (fill in the blank) we won’t win.


Where I teach there is a student who has a father who is doing an amazing job. Every Thursday afternoon he picks up his son from the Yeshiva and takes him out to a good lunch. They talk about everything going on. They face one another and spend hours together. Then on Friday morning they both wake up at 4:30AM and take a chartered bus to The Tomb of Rachel and the burial site in Hebron of our forefathers. The pray at sunrise and then drive back so he can make it to school for his morning class by 8:30. This child is the most brilliant out of all the students. His behavior is impeccable and is literally a parents' dream. There is nothing intrinsically different in this child than the rest, except for the investment that his father makes in his own son.


Would you like to have an easier life raising your kids? Stop putting everything else in front of them and be the influence they need. Stop letting the world expose its fangs to your most beloved. Start hanging around good parents and learn from them. Start spending as much time with them and take trips together. It will pay off in the end and you will not regret it.


My heartfelt blessing to all you parents, stay strong and protect your connection!


For more information:

The Garden of Education

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